Junk-Food Faith

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When people want faith, the televengelism industry sells them a shoddy product, Junk-Food Faith, a faith that has all the smug posturing one could want but none of the hard work of faith in action.

Like junk food, Phariseeism is an easily bought, fun to consume, superficially satisfying replacement for the real thing. And you can't eat just one.

Who wouldn't love to smugly sound horns before they pray, as the hypocrites do? Who wouldn't love to cast the first stone, to yell "an eye for an eye" instead of loving your neighbor as yourself?

From Small Flashes:

No changes needed in lifestyle or attitudes. Just call the toll-free number on the bottom of your screen, and have your credit card ready. Operators are standing by. No need to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, or visit the sick or imprisoned, just slap a “Bush/Cheney '04” sticker on your car. This is exactly Bonhoeffer's “cheap grace”: "Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion, without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate."

Theirs is the faith of all sound and fury, signifying nothing. Our is the quiet work of deeds. Democratic faith is like vegetables from a garden. Sometimes it's a lot to chew on. It takes time to grow and sometimes you have to get your knees dirty. It doesn't have handy brand names - every veggy is a bit different, and your neighbor might grow carrots even though you prefer tomatoes. But it's healthy, it's real, and it's a constant reminder that eventually you reap what you sow.

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